Learning Management Systems (LMS) make the process of creating, delivering, and grading exams very efficient, saving faculty valuable time and offering students convenience and flexibility. However, when making the decision to offer exams online, it is important to consider how you will ensure academic integrity. For example, how do you discourage students from working together to complete a high-stakes test that is designed to measure an individual student's knowledge? How will you reduce the likelihood that your exam questions and answers are shared? How do you know that the student taking the exam is the same person who is registered for the class? These are issues in any higher education classroom, but the online environment poses additional challenges.
Among the first steps in developing a plan to ensure academic integrity is to consider what types of tests you will give and how they fit into your overall assessment strategy. Not all assessments take the form of tests. Your overall assessment strategy should include a variety of assessment types including short written assignments, term papers, discussion posts, and projects as well as quizzes, ungraded self-tests, and tests. If your course will include traditional tests, consider whether you plan for them to be low-stakes or high-stakes.
High-stakes vs. Low-stakes
- Low-stakes assessments: a test that the students will take online with no proctor. These types of tests are often open book and open note.
- High-stakes assessments: for a midterm or a final, you may want to consider using a proctor to facilitate high-stakes assessments. Respondus 2.0, Respondus LockDown Browser, and Respondus Monitor are available to upload and proctor assessments.
Test Design Strategies to Minimize Cheating
- Assess learning within class exercises.
- Write your own questions rather than rely on a publisher's test bank or the textbook.
- Write questions that rely on a student's ability to apply concepts rather than those that require memorization.
- Develop question pools or sets so that there are multiple versions of an exam.
- Deliver questions one at a time and in random order. Randomize answers, too.
- Use time limits and consider proctored testing options.
Proctored Testing Options at UNT
Sage Hall Testing Center
For face-to-face classes or in distance education classes in which students are required to come to campus for testing, faculty may make a reservation to use the Sage Hall Testing Center in Sage Hall, room 330. The center has 135 computer workstations that can be reserved for proctored class exams and drop-in testing time blocks.
Please note that mandatory on-campus meetings may pose an obstacle for students who would like to take an online class. However, if you decide to include mandatory campus meetings for test days, you must include the exact dates and times on the Schedule of Classes pursuant to UNT policy 07.002 Student Identity Verification, Privacy, and Notification in Distance Education Courses.
Online Remote Proctoring Options
- Cheating in Online Student Assessment: Beyond Plagiarism - Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume VII, Number II, Summer 2004
- Cheating Reduction Strategies - Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR) - University of Central Florida
- Tips to Reduce the Impact of Cheating in Online Assessment - Northern Illinois University